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Jets fly by Sharks in Young Stars Opener

by Staff Writer / Winnipeg Jets
A display of finesse and skill and a couple of physical battles, you would think Monday night’s Jets vs. Sharks meeting at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton, British Columbia was the setting for West Side Story 2. Instead it was the first game of the Young Stars Tournament for the Winnipeg Jets Rookies as they took on the young guns of the San Jose Sharks.

The future stars of the San Jose Sharks opened the tournament on Sunday with a 6-1 win over the young Calgary Flames. The Sharks were primed and ready to go for their second game of the tournament against the new Winnipeg team.

The Jets were led by forwards Mark Scheifele and Levko Koper, each with a pair of points, and the stellar play of goaltender Edward Pasquale, who turned aside 27 San Jose shots for the 4-0 shutout win.

The Jets were flying early, as Levko Koper and Michael Kirkpatrick caused a turnover in front of the San Jose net on their first shift of the game. Klarc Wilson found the puck on his stick and fired the shot into the pads of Sharks netminder Thomas Heemskerk. The momentum soon changed as Koper was charged with hooking 2:12 into the first frame.

The Jets first line were proving their worth as Carl Klingberg made a nifty pass through the Sharks crease to Mark Scheifele, who shot to puck of the side of the post, maintaining a 0-0 score.

Levko Koper continued to put the Sharks into fits as he streaked into the San Jose zone with Klarc Wilson. Koper kept the puck, drove to the centre of the ice and fired the puck past Heemskerk for the first goal for the Winnipeg Jets at 9:11 into period one.

Mark Scheifele got the opportunity to show off his first-round draft pick skills when he took the puck in on a breakaway while the Jets were shorthanded. Scheifele made quick move, took the puck to his backhand, and lifted the puck over the sprawling Sharks goaltender, giving the Jets a 2-0 lead with 4:38 left in the first period.

The second period was dominated by the play of both goaltenders. Thomas Heemskerk for the Sharks and Edward Pasquale for the Jets both took over the game, stopping all chances and maintaining the 2-0 lead for the Winnipeg Jets.

The Jets got things going quickly in the third period when Mark Scheifele took the puck into the San Jose Sharks’ zone, biding his time as Jason Gregoire streaked in on the left wing. Scheifele threaded the puck past the Sharks’ defender and onto the stick of Gregoire, who deflected the puck past Heemskerk and into the Sharks net, giving the Jets a 3-0 lead 24 seconds into the third.

Winnipeg kept the play in the San Jose zone for most of the third period, keeping the puck away from Edward Pasquale. The Sharks threw everything they had at Pasquale at the end of the game, pulling Thomas Heemskerk for the extra attacker. Despite a number of shots, the Sharks were unsuccessful. Levko Koper took possession in the Jets zone and fired the puck down the length of the rink into the empty net, putting Winnipeg ahead 4-0, and confirming the shutout victory for Edward Pasquale and the Jets.

Three Stars:
  1. Mark Scheifele - scored a goal, added an assist, dominated play every time he was on the ice.
  2. Levko Koper - opened the scoring, and added the insurance goal.
  3. Edward Pasquale - 27 save shutout, wasn't tested often, but when needed, was solid

Notes: Captains were selected prior to the game on Monday. Defenceman Zach Redmond was selected as Captain, while forwards Mark Scheifele and Carl Klingberg were chosen as Alternate Captains… The young stars did not debut the new Jets sweaters, instead wearing practice jerseys. The Winnipeg Jets will wear their new jerseys for the first time on September 20th against Columbus…

Other Notes: Sharks defenceman Konrad Abeltshauser from Bad Tolz, Germany (you can’t make that kinda stuff up) is one big dude… Almost as big as Winnipeg Jets defenceman Cody Sol, even a bigger dude…
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